Study and Life: How first year university students use their time
Starting university changes the way students must structure their day. This study describes the patterns of time use of 444 Australian first year students and explores differences between gender and age groups. Overall, students were studying on average four hours per day (h/day), sleeping eight h/day and meeting Australian physical activity guidelines. A sizable portion of students’ days were spent engaging in ‘non-modifiable’ activities including self-care, chores and travel. Stereotypical gender and age differences were observed, with males accumulating significantly more screen-time (+68 minutes per day [min/d]) and physical activity (+21 min/d), while females did more chores (+18 min/d) and self-care (+26 min/d). Younger students slept more (+42 min/d), and did fewer chores (-43 min/d). Given there are strong associations between how students use their time and health, well-being and academic success, a better understanding of how students allocate their time on a day-to-day basis will enable more effective support for students in making these changes.